6 Russian Fairy Tale and Myth Books for Children

We know that a child’s imagination is a powerful and picturesque thing. Not only is it used to create stories and games, but it is also a key factor in their creative thoughts. This imagination comes with a cultural literacy and fairy tale and myth often include different cultures and things. They show children the cultural differences in the world. It will pique their curiosity to learn new things and new places.

It is in a fairy tale and myth’s nature to have a strong moral lesson, love and loss, and a struggle between good and evil. These lessons will rub off on children. Fairy tale and myth teach children that good will always win and while this may not happen a lot in the real world, the lesson is still important. They will learn to hope for better.

Russian Fairy Tale and Myth Books

Russia has a comprehensive collection of classic fairy tale and myth and all of them are available in English. You can find both universal fairy-tale figures like thieves and heroes, beautiful damsels and terrifying witches, kings and peasants, enchanted children and crafty animals. There are uniquely Russian characters that have become popular throughout the world such as Baba Yaga, Koshchey the Deathless, the Swan Maiden, and the glorious Firebird. The robust world of the imagination will fascinate not only children but also adults. So, take a look at these 6 Russian fairy tale and myth books for children and find your favorite.

1. A Brave Youth and a Fair Maiden. Russian Fairy Tale by Aleksandr Afanasyev and illustrated by Ivan Bilibin

You will be swept away into the magical world of old Russia. This book offers five of Russia’s best fairy tales written by Aleksandr Afanasyev. You will meet some time-honored characters such as the Vasilisa the Beautiful, Firebird, Baba Yaga, and Koshchey a.k.a. the terrifying monster who is subdued by the brave Ivan Tsarevich. Both children and adults will be enchanted by these tales. Each tale provides an opportunity to discuss the story and the consequences. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into these interestingly illustrated tales.

2. Ouch by Korney Chukovsky and illustrated by Jan Seabaugh

This book is instrumental in nurturing two major components of life which are reading and animals. It teaches you compassion and spirit of adventure. This book will probably be responsible for the beginning of your wanderlust. It is a kind and sweet story for children and very easy to remember.

3. Сказка о мертвой царевне и о семи богатыря by Alexander Pushkin

Сказка о мертвой царевне и о семи богатыря or The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Heroes is a rewriting of a folk tale in the Snow White theme. There is a beautiful Russian animated picture based on this story that you would love to watch much more than the Disney version. Although it is almost the same as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, there are still some minor differences in the story and the fairy tale itself is written in rhyme.


4. Урфин Джюс и его деревянные солдаты by Alexander Volkov

Урфин Джюс и его деревянные солдаты or Ellie and His Wooden Soldiers is a book which is so incredibly bloated. It spends pages upon pages detailing exactly how the army of wooden soldiers is built, painted, trained, and drilled when we could have started 50 pages in when we return to Ellie, the main character, and not really lost much. The ending is similarly full of waffle, spending lots of time on how each character was cheered, hugged, and congratulated. There is a good story buried in the middle and the new characters are lots of fun.

5. Денискины рассказы by Victor Dragunsky

Денискины рассказы or Dennis’ Story is a book about sheer magic with which all the simple complications of Dennis’ childhoods. If you are lucky enough to find a copy of this book in any bookstore, go ahead and grab it. It is a window to a childhood we have all had but forgotten amidst the chaos of grown-up life. Just clean your shelves, open the windows, grab a comfortable chair, stroke the cover, turn the pages, and go back in time. Also, you will definitely love the humor and the occasional philosophical and emotional elements in the book. What feels amazing is how relatable it all is even as an adult. The narrative is so gorgeous and each of the stories is exquisite. All in all, this book is still quite enjoyable for an adult, too.


6. Басни by Ivan Krylov

Басни or Fables is collective fables packed in a book, mostly predictable and unimaginative fables. There is a nice poem with a lesson to boot. It encompasses that being able to an agreement in business is the main point in all cultures and that communication is the key. It rhymes really well in Russian. However, not all of them have a Russian flavor and a few are noteworthy, such as A Little Box because it sounds like Wittgenstein’s metaphor of solving a philosophical problem with a move that seems obvious in retrospect, The Sightseer because apparently, it is the origin of the “elephant in the room”, The Author and the Robber because it is a sort of appreciation of the intellect, along the lines of “the pen is mightier than the sword,” in which a damaging intellectual idea is eventually far worse than a robbery, last but not least, The Poor Rich Man because it is a clever puzzle in which a man is offered a source of gradually increasing wealth which will end when any of it is spent and the miserly man declines to spend any of it because he always wants more, until he finally starves to death.

So, those are 6 Russian fairy tale and myth books for children. Which one is your favorite?

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